UCLA High Post Rub

What to Discover or Recall. . .

This potent high post attack was instrumental to the success of many of UCLA's NCAA championship teams under coach John Wooden, and is commonly used on all levels of basketball including the NBA.
Like any successful offense, it is based on very sound principles and excellent court spacing. It utilizes both an inside and an outside attack.
The UCLA Offense is a viable option for teams that do not have a bona fide low post player since it takes full advantage of a post player with good passing and shooting skills along with a point guard's ability to post up.
With it's quick reversal simultaneous down screens poses severe problems even for the best defensive teams.

UCLA High Post Rub Offense

UCLA HP Offense

| Basic Reads | Ball Reversal | Automatics | Installing | Game Strategy | Case for Defense |

Although the UCLA high post offense can be run from various offensive alignments, the 1 - 4 set is favored because of pressure defenses. It is very flexible in that players can interchange positions readily especially the 4 and 5 positions and the 2 and 3 positions. It can also be initiated on either side of the court. The basic option is for the point guard 01 to make an entry pass to wing O3 and rub off O5's high post screen. 03 looks to feed O1 either for layup on basket cut or posting up against a weaker defender. If a good shot is not available for O1, wing O3 looks to make a reversal pass to O5 stepping out.

Offensive Fundamentals Required

Learn More Creating Leads - Proven Techniques to Get Open

Learn More High Post Rub Cuts

Learn More  Setting and Using Down Screens

Learn More Basic Low Post Moves

 

Schematic Sequence

UCLA Offense Schematic


 

5 Stars

Phase 1. High Post Rub Cut

High Post Rub Cut

The success of any offense is dependent on precise execution. "It's not what you run, but how you run it that counts." In executing the UCLA Offense, it is not only important for the high post to set a solid screen, but it is equally important for the point guard to set up and use the screen properly.

All players need to know the various defensive reads and proper execution of their counters. However, during an actual game, the opponent will mainly deploy and use only one of these defensive tactics.

Basic Reads and Counters. What if the....

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Click on desired read below to view illustrated counter option.

  1. What if the defender TRAILS the cutter?

  2. What if the defender over plays and DENIES ball side basket cut?

  3. What if the defender goes BEHIND the screen?

  4. What if the defenders SHOW & RECOVER against the high post rub?

  5. What if the defense SWITCHES on the high post rub?

    Smaller defender is MISMATCHED INSIDE against post.

    Bigger defender MISMATCHED OUTSIDE against quicker ball handler.

  6. What if the defenders ANTICIPATE the switch and zone.

  7. Guard BACK SCREEN option.

Read: Defender TRAILS OVER the screen

COUNTER: Basic High Post Rub

Over

Over Right

After passing to O3, point guard O1 walks the defender X1 into the high post screen. When the defender X1 assumes an inside position and chases O1 over the high post screen, O1 makes a ball side cut to the basket looking for a return pass from O3 for layup. O1 also has the option of posting up against X1.

^ TOP


Read: Defender DENIES the outside basket cut

COUNTER: Cutter Cuts Inside

Under Left Side

Under Right Side

When the defender X1 blocks O1's direct cut to the basket by assuming an outside pass denial position, O1 cuts to the inside off O5's high post screen looking for a return pass from O3 for layup. O1 again has the option of posting up against X1.

^ TOP


 

Read: Defender goes BEHIND screen

COUNTER: High Post Bump

Bump Left

Bump Right

When the defender X1 cheats and goes behind O5's high post screen, O1 pops ("bumps") back out for open shot. O1 can also pass to O2 coming off O4's weakside down screen when the shot is not available.

^ TOP


 

Read: Post Defender SHOWS & RECOVERS

COUNTER: High Post Slips the Screen

Slip Left

Slip Right

When the defender X5 steps out (shows) on O1's basket cut, O5 immediately slips the screen and cuts away to the basket looking for a quick pass from wing O3.

^ TOP


 

Read: Defenders SWITCH on the rub cut

COUNTER 1: High Post Roll

Post Roll Left

Post Roll Right

When the defense switches on the post rub, O1 immediately clears out to the corner and O5 rolls to the basket against smaller defender.

NOTE: When defensive players X1 and X5 anticipate switching the high post rub, O5 can also slip (cut away) to basket for shot.

COUNTER 2: Corner Isolation (1-on-1)

Corner Isolation

Corner Isolation Right Side

Against the defensive switch, when O1 has a definite advantage over bigger X5, O5 pops out allowing O1 to go One-on-One against X5 from the Corner. If/when O1's shot is not available, post O5 can then dive to the basket to exploit smaller X1.

^ TOP


Back Screen (Pow) Option

If wing O3 cannot feed O1 on basket cut, O1 has the option of setting a back screen for O5.

Post Lob

Post Iso

Post Lob. Wing O3 looks to make a lob pass to O5 rolling to basket off O1's back screen.

Post Isolation. When the defense switches, O3 looks to feed O5 posting up against smaller defender X1.

^ CLOSE


 

Posting Up Strong

Posting Up

For the Post Isolation to be effective, physical size alone is not enough, players posting up must be well schooled in the basic post moves. In addition, both the passer and post player must be cognizant of the location of defensive player.

Long time coach and present Laker assistant, Tex Winter, has not only brought the importance of court spacing along with the Triangle Post offense into the game, but he has also coined the phase "line of deployment" which assists players and coaches in "reading" and countering defensive post deployment.

Post Reads: What if the defender . . . .

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Click on the desired read to view illustrated counter option

 

What if the defender plays on the HIGH SIDE of the post? Power Lay-up

What if the defender plays on the BASELINE SIDE of the post? Baby Hook

What if the defender plays on the BEHIND of the post? Face-Up

What if the defender FRONTS the post? Lob

What if the defense DOUBLE TEAMS the post? Trap Release


READ: Defender plays on the HIGH SIDE of the post.

COUNTER: Power Lay-up Option

Post Power Layup

When the defender X5 assumes a 3/4 pass denial position on the top side (above the line of deployment) of the post, the post should cheat up the lane, seal off the defender, and give the passer a target with the baseline hand. Passer should lead the post to the basket for power lay up. Post should maintain defensive seal until pass is overhead.

Corner Feed option.

When the defense assumes a 3/4 pass denial position on the top side of the post, the wing O3 has option of passing the ball to the corner for a better passing angle into the post.

^ TOP


READ: Defender plays on the BASELINE SIDE of the post.

COUNTER: Baby Hook Option

When the defender X5 assumes a 3/4 pass denial position on the baseline side (below the line of deployment) of the post, the post should cheat down the lane, seal off the defender, and present the passer a target with the top hand. Passer should lead the post to the basket for baby hook. The baby hook should be executed with a quick, long, lead step into the middle with the foot pointing toward sideline or corner. Shooting arm should be kept straight using a flipping wrist motion. Shooter should be end up facing the basket on follow through.

Point Feed option.

When the defense assumes a 3/4 pass denial position on the baseline side of the post, like with the post front, the wing has option of reversing the ball to the top of the circle for a better passing angle into the post.

^ TOP

 


READ: Defender plays BEHIND the post.

COUNTER: Turn & Face (Triple Threat)

When the defense X5 plays behind the post, the post should seal off the defender with a strong low, knees flexed stance, and give the passer a target with both hands. Upon receiving the pass, the post should make a strong pivot and face the basket assuming a triple threat position (drive, shoot or pass). Unless the defensive post is an extremely good shot blocker, the defensive player is at a big disadvantage.

Triple Threat Shot Options

  1. Jump Shot. Defender has hands down.

  2. Pump Fake and Drive. Defender anticipates and challenges shot.
  3. Step Back. One dribble drive step toward basket then a quick step back to create separation from the defense.

Note: All three Triple Threat shot options are sequential read and react (attack) moves.

^ TOP


Defender FRONTS the post.

COUNTER: Post Lob Option

When the defense X5 assumes a full front denial position on the post, the post should force the defense out away from the basket, seal off the defender, and give the passer a target with the baseline hand. Passer should make a pass just over the top of the fronting defensive player. Note: It is important for the post to wait and not release the defensive seal until the pass is overhead.

Ball Reversal option.

Against the post front, the wing also has option of reversing the ball to the top of the circle for a better passing angle into the post.

^ TOP


Defenders DOUBLE TEAMS the post.

COUNTER 1: Pressure Release to Elbow

One of the best ways to counter the post double team is by attacking it before with quick moves before the trap can be set.

Elbow Release Left

Elbow Release Right

When the defense double teams by bringing a player across along the baseline on the low side, the post has option countering by  releasing up to the elbow.

COUNTER 2: Pressure Release to Short Corner

Short Corner Left

Short Corner Right

When the defense double teams by bringing a player down from the top, the post has option of releasing to short corner on baseline.

^ CLOSE

 


 

Low Post Two Person game: Solo Cut Options

Solo Post Cuts

In addition to one-on-one isolation in low post area, the Post Isolation set readily flows into two-on-two action. The wing can initiates the two person game simply by feeding and cutting off the low post.

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Click on the desired read to view illustrated counter option

Pass and cut baseline options:

| Handoff | Fake Handoff | Step Back Jumper | Post Roll |

Pass and cut over the top options:

| Handoff | Fake Handoff | Pull up Jumper | Post Roll |

Other options:

Side Screen and Post Pick


 

Baseline Solo Cut Actions

(On-ball defender plays high)

Read: Defender CHASES OVER screen.

COUNTER: Handoff and Drive

Base Drive

When the defender X3 plays on the high side of wing O3, after feeding the post O5, O3 should fake high and then cut baseline for possible handoff and shot. When O3 does not receive a return pass from O5, O3 continues out to the weakside isolating the post O5 on a one-on-one situation.

^ TOP


Read: Post defender CHEATS OUT SHOWS) to help.

COUNTER: Fake Handoff and Post Drive Opposite

Fake Handoff Base

When defensive post X5 tries to step out and help out on O3's base cut, the post O5 has option of faking the handoff and making a quick move opposite into the middle for shot.

^ TOP


Read: Defender goes BEHIND on base cut.

COUNTER: Step Back Jumper

Step Back

When when O3's defender X3 goes behind O5, cutter O3 fades out by executing a "V" cut or step back move for a pull up baseline jump shot.

^ TOP


Read: Defenders SWITCH on base cut.

COUNTER 1: Post Roll

Switch

When the defense switches, O3 strings out the defense with dribble, isolating the post O5 against the smaller defender X1.

COUNTER 2: Outside Mismatch Isolation

Switch Clear Right

The post O5 can also clear out, isolating O3 one-on-one against the bigger defender X5.

^ TOP


Solo Top (Over) Cut Actions

On-ball defender plays low

Read: Defender CHASES OVER screen

COUNTER: Handoff and Drive

Drive Top

When the defense plays to the low side of wing O3, O3 after feeding the post O5, should fake low and then cut over the top of the post for possible handoff and shot. When the wing does not receive a return passfrom the post, the wing continues out to the weakside isolating the post on a one-on-one situation.

^ TOP


Read: Defender CHEATS OUT (SHOWS) to help

COUNTER: Fake Handoff and Post Drive Opposite

Fake Handoff

When defensive post X5 tries to step out and help out on top cut, the post O5 has option of faking the handoff and making a quick baseline drop step or spin move to basket for shot.

^ TOP


Read: Defender goes BEHIND on top cut.

COUNTER: Pull Up Jumper

Pull Up

When when O3's defender X3 goes behind O5, cutter O3 fades out by executing a "V" cut or step back move for a pull up baseline jump shot.

^ TOP


Defenders SWITCH against the top cut.

COUNTER: Post Roll

Switch Top Cut Right

When the defense switches, O3 strings out the defense with dribble, isolating the post O5 against the smaller defender X1.

COUNTER: Outside Mismatch Isolation

Switch Iso Right

The post O5 can also clear out, isolating O3 one-on-one against the bigger defender X5.

^ TOP

 

Other Solo Cut Actions

Read: Post steps out and screens.

Counter: Side Screen Action

Side Screen

Post can initiate side screen action at any time by stepping out and setting an "ON" ball screen for the O3 on wing. O3 drives hard of O5's side screen and has layup, pull up jump shot, or pass to O5 rolling to basket.

Learn More Proper Execution of On-Ball Screens

^ TOP


Read: Cutter screens the post's defender.

READ: Post Pick Action

Post Pick

Wing O3 after feeding the post sets a screen on he post's defensive player, allowing the post to wheel into the middle off pick for shot or drive.

Note: most teams are not prepare to defend the on ball post pick.

^ CLOSE


 

Basic Low Post Split Options

Post Split

In the past, post splits were a staple in the vast majority of offenses. Although, their use has waned in recent years, post splits remain a very potent weapon for creating easy and open shots. On post splits whoever feeds the post cuts first. Click view to view low post split options.

Note: Both cutters clear out if they do not receive the ball allowing the post to isolate one-on-one against defender X5.

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  1. Post Split Cut option
  2. Fake split and Back Cut option
  3. Post Split using Screen option
  4. Two Same Side option

 


 

Post Split Option

Zipper Post Split

O1 feeds the post O5 and cuts over the top. O2 cuts off the point's moving screen for shot. Post O5 has option of feeding either cutter.
Note: Both cutters clear out if they do not receive the ball allowing the post to isolate one-on-one against X5.

vs. Defensive Switch

Post Split vs. Swiitch

If the defense switches on the post split, the post looks primarily to feed the O1 cutting to the basket.

^ TOP


 

Fake Post Split Option

Fake Post Split

When the defense anticipates the post splits, one or both cutters can stop and back cut to basket for shot.

^ TOP


 

Post Split Screen/Roll Option

Post Split Screen & Roll

The point guard O1, after feeding the post O5, executes a contact screen and roll near the free throw line for the shooting guard O2.

^ TOP


 

Post Split - Two Same Side Option

Post Split Two Same Side

When the defenders switch or anticipate the post split, O1 can feed the post O5 and make a solo baseline cut instead of going over the top on a post split. O2 cuts to short corner. Post O5 has option of feeding either cutter.

vs. Defensive Anticipation

Post Split Back Cut

When O1 feeds the post O5, if defender X2 anticipates the post split, O2 back cuts to the basket instead on splitting the post. O1 makes a solo cut over the top of O5.

^ CLOSE

 

 


 

5 Stars

Phase 2. Ball Reversal Down Screens

Down Screens

When a good shot is not available off the high post rub action, then the UCLA offense flows directly into quick ball reversal down screens. Simple, but when well executed, Down Screens are a very effective means for getting the ball to good shooters for open shots along with creating low post mismatches if the defense should switch.

Although during a game, a team will only deploy one or two methods of defending down screens, players need to possess a working knowledge of all the defensive various reads and counters. In addition, coaches must stay active and alert to any defensive changes that the opponent may make during a game.

Learn More Setting and Using Down Screens

 

Basic Reads and Counters. What if . . .

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Click on desired read below to view illustrated counter option.

  1. What if the defender CHASES & TRAILS the receiver?

  2. What if the defender CHASES OUT LATE & TRAILS the receiver?

  3. What if the defender goes CHEATS OVER the screen?

  4. What if the defender goes CHEATS OVER the screen EARLY?

  5. What if the defenders SWITCH against the screen?

  6. What if the defenders SHOW & RECOVER on screen?

  7. Weakside low POST SPLIT Option


Read: Defender CHASES OUT and trails the receiver.

Counter: Curl

Down Screen Curl

Down ScreenCurl Right

When the defender CHASES OUT, the shooter curls off the screen for a quick open jump shot.

^ TOP

Read: Defender CHASES OUT LATE and trails the receiver.

Counter: Basket Curl

Down Screen Basket Curl

Down Screen Basket Curl Right

Note: When the defender CHASES OUT late, the shooter can curl all the way to the basket.

^ TOP

 


Read: Defender CHEATS OVER the screen.

Counter: Fade

Down Screen Fade Left

Down Screen Fade R

When the defender goes OVER the screen, the shooter should fade to baseline for open jumper.

^ TOP

 


Read: Defender CHEATS OVER the screen EARLY.

Counter: Back Cut

Down Screen Back Cut L

Down Screen Back Cut R

When the defender anticipates and CHEATS OVER the screen early, the shooter can change direction and back cut to the basket for shot.

^ TOP


Read: Defenders SWITCH on the Down-Screen.

Counter: Screen and Roll

Down Screen Roll L

Down Screen Roll R

When the defenders SWITCH on the down screen, the receivers pops out to the wing, and the screener "Seals Off" the defender and rolls to the basket for shot.

Post Iso Left

Post Iso Right

Post Isolation

When defenders Switch, the receiver pops out directly out to the wing allowing post to exploit smaller defender. The high post can either feed post directly or pass to any of the peripheral players for the post feed.

Wing Iso Left

Wing Iso Right

Wing Isolation

When the defensive players switch, the screener can clear out to weakside isolating the shooter one-on-one on the wing against bigger defender X4. If the wing's shot is not available, the post can then dive to the basket to exploit smaller defender X2.

^ TOP


Read: Defenders SHOW & RECOVER against the down screen.

Counter: Slip the Screen

Down Screen Slip L

Down Screen Slip Right

When the screener's defender SHOWS to help out on the down-screen, the screener immediately breaks off the screen and cuts away to the basket for shot.

^ TOP


Weakside Low Post Split Option

This ball reversal option is commonly executed by several NBA teams including the Utah Jazz. When O1 does not receive a pass on basket cut, O1 then goes weakside and splits with O2 off O4's down screen.

Wing O3 makes a reversal pass out to O5. O5 then looks to pass to O2 cutting baseline off O4's down screen or to O1 popping out weakside off O4's screen.

When defender X2 anticipates O2's baseline cut and plays low or switches, O2 cuts over the top of O4's screen for shot. O1 continues out off O4 for wing shot or post feed.

^ CLOSE

 


 

5 Stars

Automatic Counters vs Defensive Overplay

Since the success of High Post Rub Offense is entirely based on defensive reads, anytime the defense attempts to disrupt or deny a passing lane, it opens up automatic counter moves that usually result in easy baskets.

What if the defense denies . . . .

 

Expand Close Button

Click on desired read below to view illustrated over-play counter.

| Dribble Clear | Post Feed | Post Lob | Weakside Feed | Post Back Cut | Post Screen |

Dribble Clear

Read: Wing Entry Pass Denial

Counter: Dribble Clear

When defender X5 over plays and denies the entry pass to the wing, the point guard O1 dribbles towards the wing. Wing O3 makes a back cut to the basket looking for a pass from O1.

^ TOP

Back Cut Post Feed

Read: Wing Entry Pass Denial

Counter: High Post Feed Option

When defender X3 over plays and denies the passing lane to the wing O3, the point guard O1 has the option of passing the ball directly to the high post. When the wing O3 sees the ball going to O5, O3 makes a back cut to the basket looking for a feed from O5.

^ TOP

Post Lob

Read: Defender Over Plays Post

High Post Lob

When defender X5 over plays and denies the passing lane to the post O5, O5 releases and makes a back cut to the basket looking for a quick lob pass from O1. If O1 cannot hit O5 on back cut, O1 then looks to make an entry pass to O4.

^ TOP

Caution: On lob passes, the post should seal off defender and wait until the ball is directly overhead before releasing to the basket for shot.

Weakside Post Feed

Read: Defender Over Plays Post

Weakside Post Entry Option

When the defensive players X3 and X5 over play and denies the passing lanes to both )3 and O5, point O1 has the option of making an entry pass to O4. When O1 passes to O4, O5 dives to the basket anticipating a pass from O4. Wings O2 and O3 spot up in corners. O4 also has option of taking X4 One-on-One.

^ TOP

Post Back Cut

Read: Post Reversal Pass Denial

High Post Back Cut

When defender X5 over plays and denies O3's reversal pass to O5, O1 clears to corner as O5 back cuts to basket looking for quick feed from O3.

^ TOP

Post Screen

Read: Post Reversal Pass Denial

Post Screen Option

When defender X5 over plays and denies O3's reversal pass to O5, O5 can set a diagonal screen for O4.

^ CLOSE

 


 

5 Stars

Clipboard

Teaching & Implementing the High Post Rub Offense

The key to the success of the High Post Rub Offense is in its execution and coordination. Players need to be well prepared to execute high post rub cuts and down screens. The ballhandler, screener and receiver have to think and function as one unit. This requires proper footwork, timing, non-verbal communication, and experience.

Learn More  Whole-Part-Whole Method of Teaching

Learn More  Motor Skills Learning

 

High Post Rub Breakdown Drills:

Caution: Before undertaking any offense, players must have a solid, working knowledge of all of its components.

View/Print Two Player Entries Drill (2-on-2)

View/Print 3-on-3 Combination Drill (HP Rub, Down Screen & Side Screen Action)

View/Print Half and Full Court Scrimmaging

 

The Game Within a Game

Individual offensive skill development and improvement should be an integral part of every practice. In addition to early time (before practice) work, each player should, personally, have one or two individual fundamental techniques to work on during the course of a practice. The specific skill or skills will vary from player to player and can be assigned by the coaching staff or determined by the players themselves. As a reminder, the skill(s) should be written down on a 3 X 5 card and give it to each player prior to practice.

 


5 Stars

Game Strategies

Scout your opponent. Players need to know what reads to expect during the game. Opponents will generally use only a primary and secondary defense technique in defending side screens. Educate and explain the anticipated reads and their counters. When scouting is not possible, scout your opponent during the game.

Don't be a spectator and watch the ball during the game. Be conscience and alert to any defensive changes or adjustments, especially after substitutions and timeouts. Don't hesitate in deploying various alignments and entries during the game so that defenders cannot focus on defending just one set. Move players around and attack the weakest defenders.

 


5 Stars

The Case for the Defense

Even if you do not plan to use the UCLA High Post Rub Offense, you better be prepared to defend against it. It is one of the most used offenses in the game.

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Learn More

Continue and learn proven ways and techniques to disrupt the UCLA High Post Rub Offense

 

 

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